Search continues for trapped illegal miners at Welkom mine


The search for the bodies of more illegal miners continues at Harmony Gold’s Eland mine in Welkom, Free State, following a gas explosion last week Thursday.

On thursday, more bodies of illegal miners were retrieved from the underground. In total now 29 bodies of illegal miners have been recovered from a shaft at the disused Harmony Eland mine in Welkom in the Free State.

It is believed the ‘ZamaZamas’ died from an underground explosion that happened last week. The majority of the bodies are thought of to be of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho, extraction.

Police spokesperson Major-General Lerato Molale said “The bodies were in a very bad state when they were recovered. Others were without arms and feet. There are rumours that the majority are not from this country. But we will do some work to identify them.”

Molale said distraught families have been flocking to the police station since yesterday to seek to identify the bodies of their loved ones whose bodies “have reached a decomposition state”.

Meanwhile, eleven illegal miners were arrested and are due to appear at the Welkom Magistrate’s Court at a date still to be determined.

“They have been charged with breaking mining regulations and trespassing,” Molale said.

-Simangele Legodi